The impact of your gifts


Tim and Maureen Conrad have seen firsthand the impact Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mississippi Valley is having on the Quad Cities. Their daughter Sheila has been a “big sister” for many years to a young girl. “The program has been such a positive experience for Sheila’s ‘little sister,’ and also for Sheila herself,” Maureen Conrad shared recently.

The Conrad family, like hundreds of Quad Citizens, do much of their charitable giving through the Quad Cities Community Foundation. With the donor advised fund Tim and Maureen Conrad set-up, they are able to gift to nonprofits like Big Brothers Big Sisters, participate in programs like Endow Iowa, and best of all, “solidify our commitment to give forever,” Tim Conrad said. “We believe it is important to share—to give back. We are proud to do that in a number of ways, including through the Community Foundation.”

Community members are also able to support nonprofits by giving to the Community Impact Fund, which allows the board of directors and staff at the Community Foundation to award dollars to our community’s most promising opportunities and pressing needs through programs like our Nonprofit Capacity Building Grant.

Nonprofit Capacity Building Grants provide funding to help organizations make significant improvements that transform the way they are able to carry out their missions. In addition to support from the Conrad family, last year Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley received a 2017 Nonprofit Capacity Building Grant to support a technology conversion and data integration. The first phase of their comprehensive project included a new server, workstations, security software and fundraising software (which, upon first use, generated over $100,000 in online donations to the nonprofit!).

“Technology is a critical component of our success,” said Jay Justin, president and CEO. “This is a significant investment in our infrastructure. It not only is about equipment and software, but about staffing, process and performance expectations.”

Justin recently shared with Community Foundation staff an example of the impact of donations made through the Community Foundation. It came in the form of a note from a ninth grade “little sister” in East Moline. “It seems very simple as it reads, but it you carefully read the meaning behind her words, I think you will get great insight into the impact of our program and how truly thoughtful her comments are,” he said.

“We’ve been together five years and I’ve grown up with her. She has taught me a lot. I do consider her a sister to me. She always makes sure I’m okay and she always makes me laugh and smile. She has taught me the value of smiling even when you don’t want to. She taught me how to be strong even when the weight of the world is on my shoulders. All in all, she has taught me to be kind, to help people the best I can, and put in 100 percent of what I’ve got into everything I do.”

That is the impact of your gifts to the Community Foundation.